Hospital staff told police that a patient was not raped on one of their wards as the alleged attacker was transgender, despite there being CCTV evidence that shows the assault.
Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne raised the incident, that happened a year ago, with the House of Lords this week.
Lady Nicholson said that, after the assault victim filed a police report, the unnamed hospital was contacted but they insisted “the rape could not have happened” as there was “no male in the hospital”.
She told MPs: “They forgot there was CCTV, nurses and observers.
“Nonetheless, it has taken nearly a year for the hospital to agree that there was a male on the ward and, yes, this rape happened.
“During that year she has almost come to the edge of a nervous breakdown, because being disbelieved about being raped in hospital has been such an appalling shock.
“The hospital, with all its CCTV, has had to admit that the rape happened and that it was committed by a man.”
An investigation by police into the case is now under way.
Lady Nicholson said such incidents arise because of the use of the NHS’s use of single-sex wards which allows patients to be allocated into wards depending on the gender they identify with.
She is calling for the policy, known as Annex B, to be amended as it “gives priority to trans people over women” and therefore threatens the “dignity, privacy and safety” of female patients.
“The result of Annex B is that hospital trusts inform ward sisters and nurses that if there is a male, as a trans person, in a female ward, and a female patient or anyone complains, they must be told that it is not true – there is no male there,” she told the upper chamber.
“I think it is completely wrong that the National Health Service should be instructing or allowing staff to mislead patients -to tell a straightforward lie. It is not acceptable.”